(Model MF) Remodeling the Model M (aka.. the Mara)

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fohat
Elder Messenger

01 Feb 2019, 00:07

Muirium wrote:
31 Jan 2019, 22:32

That’s our sacrificial lamb of choice!
I don't know, people are getting weird about them and paying well over $100 each - beats me as to why.

The "Bigfoot" "Blue Switch" and other odd backwater Fs are the ones to chop.

User avatar
mattlach

01 Feb 2019, 00:22

fohat wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 00:07
Muirium wrote:
31 Jan 2019, 22:32

That’s our sacrificial lamb of choice!
I don't know, people are getting weird about them and paying well over $100 each - beats me as to why.

The "Bigfoot" "Blue Switch" and other odd backwater Fs are the ones to chop.
I did a quick search.

XT's seem to be going from $125 to $200, and you'd need more than one for this project.

I can only find one "blue switch" and it is going for $250.

I can't find anything called a Bigfoot.

User avatar
wcass

01 Feb 2019, 02:06

Model M barrels are the same as Model F barrels - so the barrel frame and case of any Model M can be used. You just need a new pad card, pivot plates, and controller. The discrete barrels of the AT, XT, and 122 allows rearranging the switches into ... pretty much any layout (just like Cherry/Alps) like my CSSK for example.

I think it would be great if we could work with Unicomp; like the way that AMG works with Mercedes.

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mattlach

01 Feb 2019, 02:13

wcass wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 02:06
I think it would be great if we could work with Unicomp; like the way that AMG works with Mercedes.
Has anyone ever tried to reach out to them?

DMA

01 Feb 2019, 03:33

mattlach wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 02:13
wcass wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 02:06
I think it would be great if we could work with Unicomp; like the way that AMG works with Mercedes.
Has anyone ever tried to reach out to them?
I do remember we have at least one Unicomp guy at this forum.

User avatar
wcass

01 Feb 2019, 04:07

I let them know that i would be happy to work with them anytime. I am also trying to get to more meetups and give folks a "hands-on" with the CSSK. It is very impressive in person.

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E TwentyNine

01 Feb 2019, 12:49

wcass wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 04:07
I let them know that i would be happy to work with them anytime. I am also trying to get to more meetups and give folks a "hands-on" with the CSSK. It is very impressive in person.
Someone from here did attempt to work with Unicomp - M'er Forever mocked up a modern SSK interpretation, and recall them saying they were going to come out with one? Nothing ever happened.

And that's something not too far off from current products. I have serious doubts anyone could convince them to spend any time on something as innovative as a modern cap keyboard.

User avatar
mattlach

01 Feb 2019, 19:36

mattlach wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 00:22
I did a quick search.

XT's seem to be going from $125 to $200, and you'd need more than one for this project.

I can only find one "blue switch" and it is going for $250.

I can't find anything called a Bigfoot.
hansichen wrote:
10 Jan 2019, 22:38
Ellipse charges 1$ per spring/flipper set and 1$ per barrel, and that stuff will ship in like 2021. At that price you can still buy most Model F boards and source these parts faster and cheaper :?
wcass wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 02:06
Model M barrels are the same as Model F barrels - so the barrel frame and case of any Model M can be used. You just need a new pad card, pivot plates, and controller. The discrete barrels of the AT, XT, and 122 allows rearranging the switches into ... pretty much any layout (just like Cherry/Alps) like my CSSK for example.

So, it would seem the most cost effective way of doing this is to buy the spring/flipper set from Ellipse (if he is selling them to anyone who wants them) use the barrels from the M (since we are using one as a donor for the case anyway)

At current prices, $1 per spring/flipper set is way cheaper than buying sacrificial Model F boards. Heck, even if you already own an F board, you are likely better off cleaning it up and selling it, and buying springs and flippers from Ellipse.

This - however - depends on if Ellipse is willing to sell just springs/flippers, his lead time isn't crazy, and his quality is as good as the originals from the early yo mid 80's.

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hansichen

01 Feb 2019, 20:04

A model F XT is around 100$ these days (that's like 1,2$ per set), with some patience you can find them for less as well. That's still worth it compared to some group buy with no end in sight imo.

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Muirium
µ

01 Feb 2019, 23:26

Do M barrel frames really work with F flippers?
If so, good job I’ve got a few SSK sized spares. Grabbed them before MF was even an idea.

User avatar
wcass

02 Feb 2019, 00:25

Muirium wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 23:26
Do M barrel frames really work with F flippers?
If so, good job I’ve got a few SSK sized spares. Grabbed them before MF was even an idea.
Yes, except ....

Reinforcement of the space bar stabilizer hold-down extends into the flipper area on some (not all) barrel frames. This is not an issue with the shorter M flippers, but is a potential problem if you want to switch to F flippers. I think idollar talks about this in his thread. IIRC, the solution is to trim that reinforcement with Exacto or Dremel.

User avatar
wcass

02 Feb 2019, 00:47

E TwentyNine wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 12:49
wcass wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 04:07
I let them know that i would be happy to work with them anytime. I am also trying to get to more meetups and give folks a "hands-on" with the CSSK. It is very impressive in person.
Someone from here did attempt to work with Unicomp - M'er Forever mocked up a modern SSK interpretation, and recall them saying they were going to come out with one? Nothing ever happened.

And that's something not too far off from current products. I have serious doubts anyone could convince them to spend any time on something as innovative as a modern cap keyboard.
M'er Forever's design would have required tooling for new case, barrel frames, new membranes, new controller, etc. All big outlays for potential ... one or two thousand new sales. They would be betting that they could sell enough to cover the "Minimum Order Quantity". I would suggest that they dip a toe into the "super premium" market and just make F pivot plates (flippers) and use existing case, barrel frames, back plates.

Since one keyboard uses about 100 pivots, they will reach the MOQ 100 times faster than MOQ for a new keyboard case. PCBs have a very low MOQ - I got 5 pad cards for $100 delivered. These were 4 layer, ENIG, keyboard size. I could have doubled the order for another $50.

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FXT
XT

02 Feb 2019, 15:43

Bigfoot and blue switch Fs seem to be the most common ones harvested.

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Laser
emacs -nw

02 Feb 2019, 15:45

In Europe, "even" a Bigfoot is a rare item. Every time I see somebody suggesting the Bigfoot sacrifice and I check their location, they're from US :)

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FXT
XT

02 Feb 2019, 15:47

To be fair they're still not very easy to find here either, but I've seen cheap ones out there before.

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fohat
Elder Messenger

02 Feb 2019, 16:23

Laser wrote:
02 Feb 2019, 15:45

In Europe, "even" a Bigfoot is a rare item.
All of them could realistically be considered "rare" except for the XT.

I haven't seen the numbers, but it is likely that at least an order of magnitude more XTs were produced than any other F, and, since many went to private consumers rather than commercial companies, those were less like to have been purged and trashed in company-wide upgrades.

What makes them good candidates for cannibalization are their dreadful configurations and layouts.

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Muirium
µ

02 Feb 2019, 16:27

Exactly. No one needs more than one stock XT, and even that might be one too many! They're one of those maddening boards that's half amazing, half awful. Mechanism and layout respectively.

There was a while when "blue switch" and Bigfoot Model Fs were showing up on DT with owners wondering what to do with them. This was before Xwhatsit's Model F controller. Didn't Soarer even have a stab at converting them? Anyway, they seemed to dry up about the time when they became most useful…

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fohat
Elder Messenger

02 Feb 2019, 16:46

Muirium wrote:
02 Feb 2019, 16:27

Anyway, they seemed to dry up about the time
About the time that the M/F project vacuumed up all the loose Model Fs in the world for parts.

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